Nice, but there are still lots of issues missing. I'd say half the people I met in the years on warzone had some troubles.
A high recommendation should be to either use a voice chat or check each turn that the other people are still in game. Sometimes people drop out without notice. Though warzone normally should make a noise, I wouldn't trust it cause you can drop out of warzone but still keep in BotF! Warzone is just used for launching the mp game, thereafter you have a common direct ip game and warzone isn't needed anymore, you can close it if you want and leave the lobby while playing.
Instead watch the little race icons on the left showing your diplomatic relation. Also check ingame chat, there you have icons for connected player races on the top and also can chat and ask, but the game will crash if someone got disconnected.
Some more tips, if the game crashed, secure last.sav in your botf or mod folder. That's the previous auto.sav and automaticly gets overwritten each turn. That's important cause if you continue with auto.sav after a crash, it might be corrupted due to the crash and might not be usable anymore. If the corruption took place earlier ingame, you only can try to do your moves different or check and edit the file with UE.
To load last.sav, replace one of the other .sav files and rename last.sav accordingly. Then either choose it in the load menu or if you replaced auto.sav, use continue.
Second, make sure your combat is stable in SP mode! If it's instable in sp, in mp you only bug people with your combat crashes cause in a good game you get into combat alot.
Under some circumstances current combat keeps to crash anyway, you may have to do moves different or even skip a fight.
Thereby I'd like to mention that many people, including me, find it very unpleasant to use a crash for doing different move intending a better result next try cause it's easy to provoke a crash with botf and abuse this! Only do so if the other players are fine with it.
Also don't chat during combat, that's pretty unstable.
Don't chat too much, if messages come in same time game can crash. It can also crash when you chat in the moment the turn proceeds.
You can view the stats by clicking on 'Retire' / 'Partie Beenden' in the main menu, but never click on OK button or the game ends. Instead use ESC key to go back.
Don't minimize BotF for too long when waiting on other players, cause if they proceed turn process will loop till all maximized the game again and people might think it frozed.
Don't end turn and save while waiting on the others. If they finish before your game was saved, botf will crash. Instead always save before ending your turn if you want to do so.
Also better don't use the timers, they can be instable. If you use them, never do last minute changes when timer reaches zero.
You should add the spaces-in-path-name problem, if you install BotF to a path containing a space character, botf won't launch right on warzone and the network configuration window will get shown in game. Sadly since Windows Vista, the 'Program Files' folder is default install folder and in other languages like german thie folder virtually even gets labeled different like 'Programme' so you don't notice! To be safe, install to C:\BotF or an own created folder.
Important also is to disable or configure all software and sometimes also router firewalls (yes I encountered routers where you have to forward and configure router firewalls seperately).
Not to forget that by default the windows firewall is active and has to be configured - many people don't know about this.
For firewall configuration see bottom.
And I also heard windows defender can make troubles.
More than once, I talked to people that had instability issues cause they ran a peer-to-peer sharing tool while playing botf, or cause they ran it before and still are getting many incoming connection attempts. Don't do this or restart your router to get a new IP.
Resarting warzone, the system or router often solves troubles. So if there are and no explanation can be found, try it, helped me more than once!
Also make sure you have a stable connection. Especially people with a bad WLAN connection often cause sync errors cause of packet loss. BotF can't handle packet loss. Try a cable connection instead.
Additionally, often people have no clue about forwarding ports, and often they think they do, but use port triggering or dmz or the like sometimes causing instabilities and connection troubles or people simply type the wrong ports when forwarding.
Furthermore some routers still only allow to forward a few single ports, I dunno why, to still get botf to work, the most important ports for BotF are 47624, 2300, 2350 and 2400, the other ports I rarely ever have seen to be used by BotF and still MP seemed to be stable without. However, if you can, forward all directplay ports, and don't forget to always forward UDP AND TCP!
To test port forwarding warzone offers the 'DX Port Test' under utilities tab. Sadly the test often is wrong on the 47624 port. The test always has been buggy on this port so don't panic if that single port alone failed, just assure it's forwarded like the other ones in your router. If you redo the test alot it might pass again.
Despite the told necessity of setting up a static LAN IP (LAN for local area network - your local home network), actually for playing botf it just matters that the forwarded ports match the right computer. Some routers identify computers by their MAC address so you don't forward to a specific ip, just choose the right MAC and your router will automaticly choose the right LAN ip.
If for some reason it's not possible to set up a static ip, by real that doesn't mean you can't play botf through warzone, it's just that whenever you restart your computer or router, your forwarding might not match anymore cause of an ip reassignment to your computer. In this case it's good to know the following:
Some routers always assign the same LAN IPs to the connected computers and problems only occure when you switch your computer's network adapter, though dynamic ip is configured (internally they use the MAC to identify connected computers and remember them).
Additionally most routers assign the ip by first come first served principle and always begin with same ip to be assigned to your freshly started computer, so if you always start in same order or only have one computer, normally you don't have to care about configuring a static ip, you just shouldn't be surprised if some day the ip doesn't match anymore and the ports aren't forwarded to the right computer so you have to redo it.
Also another problem more than once has been that people tried to connect through warzone with more than one computer behind one router, but you only can forward ports to a single computer.
Or people accidently set warzone to use bypass and didn't notice though they configured everything (watch the little computer symbol on top of your room in warzone - if it's there bypass is activated, else not), to change, use the 'Change' button in lower right chat, the room's chat you're in.
I also watched people that joined the warzone and tryed to launch the game for half an hour without selecting a game, cause they simply didn't find the 'Change' button.
Well, simple way would be to disable your firewalls, but I'm not alone with the opinion, that for security reasons you NEVER should do so, though you might still be a little protected by your router and an up to date operating system. You already have enough risk using old directplay and forwarding it.
On the other hand, often people have more than one firewall active, cause by default windows also has it's own firewall!
Many people then forget to configure both of them, and in rare circumstances, people might even have more than two software firewalls running, right KrazeeXXL?
To configure the windows firewall, I'm not sure anymore, I think you had to open the directplay ports explictly. But the default windows firewall is scrap anyway and you should disable it after you installed a better one (all are better).
Personally I use the free COMODO software firewall with BotF and it works great but there are some options you have to set to get it work. I give you a little guide here to get it to work, it might also help with other firewalls.
For COMODO, open it, go to Firewall tab, click on 'Stealth Ports Wizard' and choose the middle option to alarm you on incoming connections, that's important with botf and by default set to the last option to always hide your ports!
Also click on 'Firewall Behaviour Settings' -> Advanced tab and disable 'Block Fragmented IP datagrams' if it's enabled, cause this can
(but doesn't have to) cause instabilities like sync-errors!
In 'General Settings' tab of the Firewall Behaviour Settings you should be on 'Safe Mode' and in 'Alert Settings' tab, alerts for TCP and UDP requests should be enabled, and I'm not sure about the 'internet connection gateway' option now, it's enabled on my system.
Next click on 'Define a New Trusted Application' and select the trek.exe of the BotF installation or mod you'll be using.
You can skip this, if you do COMODO will present you a pop-up once you try to connect or launch a multiplayer game asking you how to proceed. There you can select to make trek.exe a trusted application as well, but if BotF is maximized you have to switch back to windows desktop to see it and that sometimes can be a little problematic, especially on windows xp.
Do the same for Warzone.exe as well or warzone won't work.
In earlier versions of COMODO I had also to set dplaysvr.exe in WINDOWS/system32 folder to be a trusted application. Seems like it's implicated by trek.exe being trusted now, but other firewalls still might require this.
To view which executables are set to be trusted, click on 'Network Security Policy'. This is the detailed view of all settings.
Earlier in COMODO it was also necessary to completely open directplay ports for all applications, this isn't necessary anymore and if your firewall still requires this it's shit and you should get a better one. However you still can do this.
That's it for getting current COMODO (5.5.195786.1383) to work with BotF.
However, when BotF crashes during mp, and this will happen anyway from time to time, check your firewall event log (View Firewall Events) to assure it's not been your firewall blocking the connection.
GL & HTH